Jaco Beach Costa Rica is it Worth Visiting?

Jaco Beach is without a doubt one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica. The main drive for its popularity is its location near San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica.

This is why tourists and locals who want to visit a beach in the country, prefer to go to Jaco Beach instead. I mean if I want to relax and chill on a beach, I would go to Jaco Beach too, so I can get in and out of the beach quickly and continue with my business in San Jose.

But that’s not all, Jaco Beach is also known for its waves. Many surfers love this beach for its big and exciting waves. Many thrill-seekers are also making Jaco Beach as their base. For locals, Jaco is already a great beach town for many years.

Let’s go back to the question, is Jaco Beach worth visiting? Let’s talk more about this and see if you should visit Jaco Beach or not.

Jaco Beach

The beach is 2 miles or 3.2 KM wide. The waves are really made for surfing and if you consider yourself a surfer, I can say without a doubt that you’ll love the waves here.

The sand here isn’t exactly the best; it’s dark sand and quite rocky but still quite nice for you to chill on the beach. Just be mindful of the tide because it will come all the way up, and you’ll get wet if you’re too close.

The natural landscape surrounding the beach is also green all year long, thanks to the Tarcoles River and the high humidity of the nearby rain forest. The view is exactly what you’d expect from a beach: clear sky, clear water, and you can also see high hills not too far away.

For being one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica, the beach is not crowded at all. I have seen much busier beaches than Jaco Beach, so if you don’t like crowds, you’ll like it even more here.

Many people also reported loving the sunset view from the beach, and they’re completely right. The sunset looks phenomenal from the beach. It’s so calming and soothing just sitting there and watching the sun sets.

I have mentioned the waves perfect for surfing, and you can see for yourself how awesome the waves are.

But unfortunately, that also means that this beach isn’t suitable for swimming. I suggest you go to other beaches in Costa Rica if you want to swim.

As for the wildlife, you can see a lot of birds from the beach. Especially Scarlet Macaws, they are seen flying over and around the beach all day. You can also see many of them near the surrounding hills.

Favorite spots

A surfer rides a wave at Jaco Beach, Costa Rica.

A lot of people have said that their favorite spots are the south end of the beach. It makes sense since most people who come to the beach are surfers and the south end is perfect for surf lessons. Many beginners and veterans come to this spot to surf.

You will also find many surf shops selling every surf item you can think of. Another interesting piece of information about this spot is the path at the end. The path was made out of a recycled bottle project from a few years ago.

On the other side, the north end, it’s where most people are gathering at. Mainly because it is where Croc’s Hotel is located and also where many people are camping and partying on the weekends.

A lot of people who come from San Jose and want to enjoy the beach for a day will more likely to come here too. So, if you want to camp or party, you should check out the north end.

The weather

Jaco Beach is one of the hottest beaches in Costa Rica mainly due to its location. The average temperatures are above 80 F and below 90 F or around 29 C during the dry season.

During the rainy season, it can go down to low 80 F or around 26 C. So, if you want to sunbathe on the beach, you should look for nice shades, or you’ll get sunburned.

The dry season lasts from December to April and the rainy season lasts from May to early December. March and April are the hottest months of the year, just like the rest of the country.

During the rainy season, it will most likely rain hard, so you won’t be able to chill on the beach. But many surfers are loving it even more for the challenge.

What else to do in Jaco Beach?

I have talked a lot about surfing, camping, partying, and chilling, but is there anything else you can do at Jaco Beach? Of course, here is the list of activities that you can do.

Adventure Parks

Near the beach, you can find Ocean Ranch Park or Rain forest Adventures. Here you can do zip lining, horseback riding, canyoning, and ATV tours. In Rain-forest Adventures, you can also find a tram that goes up over the rain forest. Ride the tram and enjoy the stunning views of the forest.

Manuel Antonio and Carara National Park

These two national parks are also located near Jaco Beach. Manuel Antonio is very popular and getting there from Jaco Beach is very easy; you can simply take a bus from Jaco to Manuel Antonio.

Carara is also close to Jaco Beach, but there is no direct bus to that can you take you there from Jaco. You can either rent a car or booking a tour instead. A guided tour with transportation and a bilingual guide should cost you about $80 from Jaco.

The drive from Jaco should take you less than 30 minutes to Carara and about one hour to Manuel Antonio. These two national parks are famous for wildlife and hiking trails. Carara is especially famous for birdwatching.

Jaco waterfall tour

The mountains outside of Jaco is home to many waterfalls. Some waterfalls are quite hidden and require 4×4 to get there, but that’s also part of the fun. The best way to enjoy the waterfalls is by going on a waterfall tour.

The waterfall tour is one of the most popular attractions for visitors. You can hike, jump off more than 10 waterfalls, and enjoy the views in the deep rain-forest. The biggest waterfall you’ll find is Bijagua. It will take you an hour hike and a 20-minute car ride from Jaco to get there.

Getting to Jaco from San Jose

The easiest and cheapest way to go to Jaco from San Jose is by bus. You can take a bus from 7-10 bus station in downtown San Jose. The ride costs $5 and takes around 2 hours.

Or you can take a shuttle by booking a private or shared one. Private shuttle costs around $120 for 1 to 6 passengers and one way only. A shared shuttle is cheaper at $47 per passenger.

If you prefer to drive by yourself, you can get onto Route 27 and exit at Route 34 to get to Jaco. The drive should take around 1 and a half hour if there is no traffic.

Should you go to Jaco Beach?

Jaco Beach

If you are in San Jose, my answer would be yes. Jaco Beach is very accessible and pretty close to San Jose. Not to mention all the other great places that you can go to if you’re satisfied with Jaco Beach.

I think Jaco Beach should be great for every kind of visitor. For surfers, Jaco Beach is one of the best beaches they can go to. Near San Jose, great waves, and all the surf shops available there.

It should be obvious that every surfer should visit Jaco at least once if not twice.

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